By Gary Nelson
Senior staff writer
Crossville Police are searching for two Hispanic males who attempted to rob Martino's Restaurant at gunpoint Friday morning.
A female clerk at the business who was hit a few times and "roughed up a bit" was transported to Cumberland Medical Center by EMS, where she was examined and later released in good condition.
Police and Cumberland County EMS were dispatched to the restaurant at 162 Woodmere Mall around 9:30 a.m. for what was first reported as a shooting.
"No shots were fired, but the clerk was roughed up a little bit by the two and she is OK," said Crossville Police Detective Major Mark Rosser said.
Several officers and investigators worked the crime scene as patrons of nearby businesses looked on curiously.
An employee at Dollar General, the store directly next door, said she heard the commotion and saw people running around, but said she was not in fear because the incident didn't involve her store. She would not comment further or identify herself.
Surveillance video of the incident obtained by police shows two Hispanic males enter the store, one shortly after the other. One of them is putting on brown, cloth gloves as he enters the business. They sit down at a table for a minute and then approach the counter.
As the first male suspect approaches the counter, he pulls out a silver and black gun and points it at the female clerk. He then jumps over the counter and appears to swing the gun at the woman as if to pistol whip her.
The second suspect stands behind him and watches the attack and slowly approaches the counter. The two then struggle with the woman and drag her to the back of the store into a back room where another surveillance video captures the two suspects struggling with her as they attempt to tie her up on the floor.
The front door of the store opens and another person comes in and goes toward the back of the store to see what is happening. The first suspect who brandished the pistol runs to capture the second woman, but she flees out the front door.
The man then runs back to the back room of the store and the two suspects run out the back door.
The clerk then escapes and runs from the store next door to Western Financial Loans and hysterically told employees there what happened.
They called 911 and it was originally reported as a shooting, but later, investigators said no shots were fired in the incident. The two suspects ran out the back door of Martino's and were last seen near the Woodmere Apartment complex.
A pair of brown cloth gloves was recovered from a dumpster in the area by police investigators.
The first suspect was wearing a camouflage hooded sweatshirt and white baseball hat. The second suspect was wearing a gray, hooded AND1 basketball sweatshirt.
As of press time, police were unsure if any money was taken in the armed robbery attempt.
Anyone with information about the incident, or who recognizes the suspect, should call Crossville Police at 484-7231.